Disease Resistance Priority For Wheat Checkoff Funding

Wheat

For decades, Kansas State University’s Plant Pathology department has partnered with the Kansas Wheat Commission to provide wheat farmers the tools and techniques to combat common wheat diseases.

Kansas State University Plant Pathologist Bill Bockus uses Kansas Wheat Commission checkoff funds to generate disease resistance ratings and identify disease resistant lines of wheat. Through the 1.5 cent-per-bushel Kansas wheat checkoff, nearly $1.3 million in wheat research is conducted each year. In the field of plant pathology, researchers develop disease resistance, identify disease resistant lines of wheat and provide disease resistance ratings of new and existing varieties. Among them, Plant Pathologist Bill Bockus has a three-year project entitled, “Disease Phenotyping: Determining the Reaction of Wheat Lines to Important Diseases.”

The Kansas Wheat Commission contributes $30,000 annually to Bockus’ research, which includes operating the Kansas Intrastate Nursery. These are plots located throughout Kansas where Bockus inoculates advanced breeding lines – potential new wheat varieties – with a host of common plant diseases. He then checks (or phenotypes) these lines to see whether they possess disease resistance. Everest, K-State’s newest release, emerged from the nursery showing improved resistance to fusarium head blight and Barley Yellow Dwarf.

In 2011, BYD was the most devastating disease to the Kansas wheat crop, causing 30-50% yield loss in some fields throughout the state. The virus is spread by aphids or greenbugs and normally causes damage to fields in eastern Kansas; it just so happens that in 2010-11, these infestations were severe and widespread.

Diseases cost Kansas wheat farmers $380 million per year. The Hard Winter wheat plant pathology team, which includes researchers at K-State’s Manhattan campus, the K-State Ag Research Center in Hays and the USDA Ag Research Service in Manhattan, are working hard to solve these challenges. They have past success on which to build.

When Bockus came to K-State in 1978, central Kansas wheat farmers were routinely plagued by a fungus called Cephalosporium Stripe, which could reduce yields up to 50% in central Kansas, where it was most prevalent.

Bockus worked with wheat breeder Joe Martin to find resistance to the disease. That resulted in the variety Arkan, the first variety resistant to Cephalosporium Stripe. Now, Cephalosporium Stripe is practically non-existent, as is Wheat Soilborne Mosaic Virus, which met resistance in the variety, Newton. “That the number one disease that used to plague wheat in the 1970s is nearly gone is a huge success story,” Bockus says.

The great mystery behind plant pathology is that from one year to the next, researchers and farmers never know which disease will affect the state’s wheat crop. What you can be sure of is that wheat checkoff funds are invested into finding solutions to these disease challenges, and providing resources to researchers like Bockus to make that happen.

“Agriculture is one of the most exciting sciences in the world, because you’re doing something that directly impacts society. Everyone has to eat,” he says.

Leave a Reply

Fungicides Stories

FungicidesResearchers Target Soybean Disease With Genetic Resistance Study
August 6, 2014
University of Illinois researchers will share new information on controlling sudden death syndrome through genetic resistance at this year's Agronomy Day. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
FungicidesNew Players May Make Pest Headlines In Corn, Soybean
April 1, 2014
The usual insects and diseases took a bit of a break in 2013, but other culprits surfaced — and could return. Read More
Frog eye leaf spot on soybean
FungicidesMake The Case For Fungicides In 2014
February 3, 2014
New products are looking good, but will growers bite with lower crop prices? Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More

Latest News

SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More
HerbicidesNew DuPont Afforia Herbicide Gives Crops A Clean Start
August 18, 2014
DuPont Afforia is a preplant herbicide for soybeans and other field crops that provides excellent burndown and residual control of many challenging weeds, such as marestail and waterhemp. Read More
Equipment21 Products Showcased At MAGIE 2014
August 18, 2014
The annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition is upon us. Here is CropLife IRON's look at some of the products visitors can expect to see at this week's event. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Seeks Nominations For 2014 Operator Of The Year
August 15, 2014
Ag retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to nominate their best applicators. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
ManagementCropLife’s Buyers’ Guide Issue Now Availabl…
August 13, 2014
One of our most read issues of the year — the August Buyers' Guide — is ready to download on the iPad. This popular issue features equipment for "In The Field," "At The Plant" and "In The Office." Read More
WebinarsWebinars On Demand
August 13, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
HerbicidesBASF: Fall Burndown Benefits Go Beyond Weed Control
August 12, 2014
While unpredictable weather may delay application timing of spring herbicides, more growers are adding a burndown application in the fall Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide P…
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipNitrogen Efficiency Supports Environmental Stewardship
August 12, 2014
As growers prepare for another harvest, it’s important to consider how nitrogen stabilization not only supports healthy plant growth but also fosters environmental stewardship. Read More
Seed/BiotechMycogen Seeds Introduces 19 New Corn Hybrids For 2015
August 12, 2014
Many of the new hybrids feature Mycogen's SmartStax Refuge Advanced technology for maximum protection of the genetic potential and planting convenience. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces Enlist Ahead App For Enlist…
August 12, 2014
Designed for use with the Enlist Weed Control System, the app is a precision agriculture tool for maximizing weed control performance, managing weed resistance and making responsible applications of Enlist Duo herbicide with Colex-D Technology. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Announces Senior Leadership Team Changes
August 12, 2014
Current CHS strategic leadership team member Shirley Cunningham will assume a new role as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Ag Business and Enterprise Strategy. Read More
ManagementFormulation Chemist Enhances Capabilities For AgriThori…
August 11, 2014
AgriThority has added accomplished formulation chemist Roy Chen to its team of associates supporting new and emerging biotechnologies and conventional chemistries. Read More
Crop InputsPurdue Creating Center To Support Soybean ‘Value …
August 8, 2014
Purdue University is establishing a center that will combine the broad-based expertise of dozens of faculty and staff members coordinating research, Extension and education to advance the production and use of soybeans. Read More